"...I remember again that life is a continuous flow and process with every moment worthy of joy and celebration, and not a collection of more-important-big or less-important-small moments clumped together here and there."
I’ve attended many a workshops in my life but the one I probably enjoyed the most was the Changes and Transitions workshop I took during my personal transitional period from full-time employee to skincare entrepreneur.
From the genius of Phillip Moffitt who went through many changes and transitions in his personal life himself, including going from editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine to one of the great mindfulness teachers of our time, it was well-structured, insightful and offered me quite a bit of practical assistance during a time of need.
One of the key concepts that stands out from the teachings from that workshop that I often find myself coming back to is how in reality, every single moment is a time of change and transition.
Despite the fact that we like to think of certain times as stable and secure and like to think of other moments as times of turbulent change, that simply is not the case. The only constant in each of our lives is change and it is constantly happening. No moment is the same as the moment right before it…
Instead of accepting life as a constant flow of change, most of us instead like to think of life as a series of multiple start and end points. For example, we like to mark the start of a new job, the end of a relationship, the beginning of a new year, the end of a day even, as particularly significant moments.
This in turn results in certain moments of our lives having less importance. For example, in anticipation of a “big day,” have you looked forward to this day in such anticipation that you wish the days in between would just go by quickly thereby failing to appreciate precious time in your life?
When you really think about this, there are no clear beginnings and endings in life besides birth and death. Instead of breaking up life into days, months, years, certain events, etc. (which are artificial and man-made for the most part), how would it be like to view life as just one continuous flow of changes and transitions?
For me, thinking about life in this way has been extremely helpful. First, it helped take away a lot of the unnecessary anxiety and resistance I was harboring towards periods of my life I had dubbed as times of “big change.” Understanding that these self-perceived moments of “big change” weren’t new and scary but instead just a continuation of what I had been going through all along made these transitions feel more natural and easier to embrace as part of my natural journey.
Second, letting go of these artificial designations helped me feel more in tune with nature and the flow of things. Instead of there being particularly important times during the day, month or year, now every moment could be felt as special on its own. It helped me let go of chasing the highs in life that would never be sustainable.
As I write this, I’m noticing Moo taking yet another standard nap with the cutest snore as if it’s the sweetest and most wonderful thing she could possibly be doing right now. Seeing Moo, I remember again that life is a continuous flow and process with every moment worthy of joy and celebration, and not a collection of more important big or less worthy small moments clumped together here and there.
Shall we all learn from Moo…? I guess there’s a reason Eckhart Tolle wrote a book on the Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats!